The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Thursday, August 02, 2007

East of Eden

East of Eden

HAVE TO WHACK IT UP DERAM UK DM 338 7" 1971 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

JIG-A-JIG / MARCUS JUNIOR DERAM UK DM 297 7" 1970 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

JIG-A-JIG / MARCUS JUNIOR DERAM US 45-85075 7" 1970 2 TRKS no pic sleeve



SNAFU DERAM JPN P25L-25060 CD 1970 8 TRKS 2nd

SNAFU DERAM UK SML 1050 LP 1970 8 TRKS locking groove, Side 1

I believe I heard of East of Eden because of the British “progressive rock” sampler LP on Decca called “Wowie Zowie!” – of course I was interested – a ‘prog’ sampler from England named after a Frank Zappa song? It didn’t take long for me to find a U.S. copy of their debut LP, “Mercator Projected” in the $1 bin. AND it was on a cool label: Deram Records.

A short while later, I find out that Dave Arbus – the violinist (!) of East of Eden is the violin player on “Baba O’Reilly” by The Who. Then I found a British copy of the 2nd East of Eden LP, “Snafu” – with it’s mighty ‘locking groove’ at the end of Side one. I believe I actually sat there, listening to it for a few minutes before I realized it was a ‘locking groove’! It was so seamless! Too bad the CD fades after a short time – and I never got the “re-mastered” (or kami sleeve) CD’s – to see if they let the ‘locking groove’ run on for any longer.

The two Deram East of Eden LP’s are very different affairs – “Mercator Projected” is a proto-prog LP – almost in the style of King Crimson – but still retaining a very ‘electric blues’ feeling – “Northern Hemisphere” is so awesome! I even think one of the tracks owes something to “Cosmic Sounds Of The Zodiac”!

“Snafu” is almost a jazz album, deeply rooted in the avant-garde – with it’s Charles Mingus cover version, some tracks that play backwards etc. It’s what the British press would’ve once called “jazz-tinged”. And they had the bottle to pull singles from this album! (No, I never heard of or saw a single for the first album).

After these two albums, I lost track of East of Eden – although I noted that they managed at least two album for the venerable Harvest label in England. One friend of mine told me that the Harvest East of Eden LP’s are among his favorite British progressive rock LP’s – and another friend gave me a CD-R of these two ‘latter day’ albums. I’ll get there eventually.

I recently read that three of the original East of Eden members got together again and made a CD – gee, I’ll have to try to find that. I wish I’d have known about it when I was in Japan recently. As previously stated, I couldn’t find little paper album cover CD’s of the two Deram albums when I was in Tokyo.

So, think you’ve heard every British progressive rock LP? Make certain that “Mercator Projected” is in your vocabulary!


Anonymous Jim Donato said...

Re: Groove Lock

I think I have about 4-5 such examples, but the only two that come to my mind are Side 1 of "Peter Gabriel (2)" and Side 2 of "Penthouse & Pavement," by Heaven 17. H17 get massive kudos for having a locked groove at the end of "We're Going To Live For A Very Long Time." Surely, the most appropriate locked groove ever! Sadly, the UK 1st CD fades after way too brief a time - maybe 12 seconds! I have never heard how subsequent CD pressings handle this.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...

Locking grooves are very cool - just try that trick, CD's or downloaders!

9:19 PM  

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